Monday, May 31, 2010

Why I still speak out for equality

I'm kind of a minister with a virtual pulpit. My words don't go out just on a Sunday morning, but things I have written through the years are still being read, and touching lives. I wanted to share a recent email, that affirms to me why I still do what I do...and that I want to keep speaking out in print and in person.

Hi Darlene,I am not even sure if this will ever reach you....but I need to write to you....About 12 years ago I read your book 'Long road to love' . Although it was out of print, I had managed to find a copy on Amazon and clung to what I believed was a light- if other people could go straight, so could I. I read other books as well- unfortunately in South Africa access to that type of literature is not that easy, so I imported a lot. My struggle never ceased though- I contacted Exodus International, who advised me to stay accountable to other Christians so I tried the accountable thing for a while- I had a friend like the one you wrote about in the book- she stuck with me through thick and thin but I always felt like I was swimming up stream.I remember about 6 years ago trying to google you- I wanted to know if you were still living according to the book I had read- cos I had stopped believing it was possible. 6 years ago, my google search for you returned no results. I have had long battle in my life with my sexuality-3 serious suicide attempts (according to doctors I shouldn't be alive),a complete erosion of my faith and much heart ache has echoed throughout my life and 4 years ago, when I woke from a coma in ICU after a 3rd failed attempt to end my life, I gave up the struggle and I chose to stop battling and accepted myself as a gay woman. I lost my best friend and lost my faith in the process- but I found myself and that was the best thing ever. I am free from the self hatred and the guilt that plagued me. A lot of my wounds and past choas have totally healed and I am now in the process of writing a book about my journey. I am in a place at the moment where I am trying to heal a very broken relationship with my maker. My heart is still very hard towards Christians and I am very sceptical when it comes to God- but without Him,I am not entirely complete The sceptic in me though needs to be brave enough to reach out through the place that is spiritually broken.So another phase of my journey has begun - this time very different from the one I followed years ago seeking freedom from my sin. This time I come as I am and he can either spit me out or hold me close.As I am preparing to write my book, I opened the box from the past that contains my journals, my prayers, your book and other books I read during the years I tried to go straight. Tonight I randomly googled your name again and stumbled upon your site and read your public apology and cried. You had an impact on my life back then- you had an impact on it again tonight. Thank you.Regards CarolSouth Africa



I can see why some people lose their faith after reading this letter. Carol was a person who was sold a bill of goods when she was told that you could pray away the gay. She had a straight friend who also honestly believed that it was possible too. It's too bad that you also had been badly misinformed and passed on information that you believed in good faith would help people. There was a time that I too did not know too much about homosexuality and what little I did know was very negative. When you are told God can change you and the change does not occur, it's easy to see why people think that God has abandoned them or does not exist and as a result, abandon the faith and in some extreme cases want to take their own life. And when you come to terms with yourself and realize that you are naturally gay and your best friend who claims to be a Christian cannot accept you unconditionally and deserts you, it's enough to leave someone depressed and suicidal. Thanks be to God Darlene that he opened your eyes to the truth of who you really were and you came to realize that God really did love you just the way you were, you were able to spread the real good news on the internet and Carol found it as a result (I don't think it was an accident, God led her to your site). I firmly believe that Carol is now on the road to recovery and reclaiming her lost faith, thanks to you and the fact that God got you going in the right direction. I firmly believe that many people have read your story and only eternity will reveal the full numbers of all the people who have been helped as a result, but I'm quite sure there will be many. You helped Carol and Bruce Lowe and his wonderful A Letter to Louise helped me and I'm so thankful for the internet that made everything possible for all concerned. Some people say the internet is bad, but God is able to use it for good, Praise God!


Darlene, it's a wonderful thing you are doing to help other people.You have inspired me to go and do likewise. It's always great to know that your blog is reaching out to others. Carol's story shows just how morally and spiritually bankrupt ex-gay ministries are. They make promises but are unable to deliver on them. It's too bad that you were caught up in them for so long, but happily, God showed you the right way and got you out. Carol thought that what you said the first time around would help her get straight, but it did not work and resulted in a loss of her faith and her best friend deserting her when she really needed one. Thankfully, God was able to deliver her from three failed suicide attempts until she was able to meet the new and improved Darlene and begin the long journey back to realizing that God loves her just the way she is. I now know that Carol is going to make it back to God because she has a wonderful person like you Darlene helping her every step of the way.